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Every chicken coop needs to have a place for your chickens to sleep and chickens prefer to sleep in an elevated place, thus the need for roosts or perches within your coop. To provide sufficient width for there feet, we used a 2 x 4 initially turned on edge to accomplish this task.
In this photo you can see the perches on both sides of the coop. You need to make sure that the perches are far enough away from the wall to allow plenty of room for the roosting chickens to move around. We put these at 12" away from the wall.
*Tip - I would move these at least 16" from the wall to keep droppings from piling up so close to the wall to prevent moisture from soaking into the wood. This was not an issue until after we insulated the walls which to away from the original distance we had allowed for.
We later flipped the 2 x 4's on their sides after reading about cold climate care for chickens and helping to prevent frost bite. If you live in a warmer climate this is not necessary, but when you live where there is risk of frostbite due to cold, the recommendation is to put the perches in "wide side up". This allows the chickens to sit on their feet when the weather is severely cold and help to prevent the birds from getting frost bitten feet.
We later added a second level of perch above and out further from the wall for our chickens. We found that 10 the 12 chickens we had always wanted to sleep on the same side and end of the chicken coop and not use the other side, so I felt this was the simplest way to give them more area in the part of the chicken coop they wished to sleep in. It has worked out well this way for the chickens and they now use both tiers for sleeping at night.
This step may not be needed if you live in a warmer climate and to be honest, some people here in our area say it's not necessary either but I felt that knowing it's possible at times to get well below freezing and occasionally well below zero, I wanted to provide the warmest possible environment for our chickens in their chicken coop home through the winter. We didn't go wild but we did use R13 fiberglass insulation and then I screwed up an inner wall to cover it after insulating. It's important to make sure it's covered as chickens will peck and eat most anything that strikes their fancy and we don't want to insulate our chickens from the inside out should they decide to eat it. I can imagine this wouldn't be any too healthy for our chickens either. We are hoping that this insulation will help keep the water from freezing as well because chickens must have ample water to keep them healthy.
plan to keep our chickens laying if possible throughout the winter as
well so we added electricity inside our coop for lighting and additional
heating lamps if necessary. Remember to run all of your
electricity before you put in your insulation and inner walls for ease
of installation inside of the chicken coop. You can always fish
electrical lines in later if you choose but it's much easier to do ahead
of time even if you aren't sure you will want electricity initially.
Installation of ground fault circuit breakers and outlets are a good
idea to prevent accidents later. Tip - As always, please use proper
care when doing any electrical installation and hire a professional if
you are not qualified or do not know what you are doing when making any
type of electrical installations.
We added a timer for the lights which we plugged into the wall outlet by the door. This timer allows us to over ride the timer with a switch to provide light inside of the chicken coop when we need it and it automatically controls the lights otherwise. We have the lights coming on each morning around 6 AM and off at around 8 AM. Chickens need 12 to 14 hours of light each day to keep them laying and this is why we are doing this. You may opt to let your chickens rest in the winter by not providing artificial light. This is strictly a personal choice for you to make with regard to your chickens.
[ purchasing, raising, & caring for our new chickens ] [ diy chicken coop ] [ chicken coop size & location ] [ building our chicken coop ] [ chicken coop construction part 1 ] [ chicken coop construction part 2 - ] [ chicken coop construction part 3 ] [ chicken coop construction part 4 ] [ chicken coop construction part 5 ] [ chicken coop construction part 6 ] [ chicken coop construction part 7 ] [ chicken coop construction part 8 ] [ chicken coop construction part 9 ] [ chicken coop construction part 10 ] [ chicken coop construction part 11 ] [ chicken coop construction part 12 ] [ chicken coop construction part 13 ]
Written by: WM8C, November 8th, 2006. Not for use without written permission
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